Speed setting on Makita

What speed setting (the number dial on the spindle) is everyone using on the makita router? Does it change based on material or do you just set it and forget it?

Table showing typical RPMs at dial settings for both the Makita and DeWalt:


You need to match the speed (RPM) of the router to the feed (movement rate of the machine) to get a chipload suitable to your material and endmill and which your machine is rigid enough to ensure will not result in chatter.

Ideally you match the RPM to the feed rate => desired chip thickness and up to machine rigidity/capacity level.
Both minimum and maximum RPM may be ideal. I use mine a lot from #1-3.

I updated the Dewalt spreadsheet with the Mikita Speed settings. Again, the main takeaway is that these routers spin way faster than you need for the types of tooling we commonly use. So using the lowest speed setting is always a good place to start.

CNC Speed Calculator for Makita.xls (93 KB)


Yeah 95% of the time mine is on 1


I also use setting 1 (8600rpm) nearly all the time. The only time I come off 1 is when I have the machine really screaming in MDF or plywood.

For wood/plastics I use #1, but when I carve aluminium I use #3, pushing 4. When doing metals you’d seek a good cutter speed (not feed rate but surface/tip rotation speed)

Have you used a chip rate calculator for your metal cutting? I bought the Makita specifically to dial into a proper chip rate, which is at speed 1 for me.

No calc but I use the data sheet provided by the end mill manufacturer and dial in the rest based off that.

For their 3mm end mill in aluminium they suggest say 0.025mm per tooth per revolution chip thickness. (Starting point, machine rigidity and tool length greatly affect the practical capacity)

So say you want to use the Makita at 9k RPM (setting 1)
9000 x 0.025 x number of flutes = 225mm/min per flute
With this setting a 0.025mm slice is chewed off each time.

Say you now want to try 17k RPM (setting 3)
17000 x 0.025 x number of flutes = 425mm/min and will make the same thickness.

If you use 2F you can double the feed rates above and still hit the same 0.025mm/toot load.

For aluminium carving (straight bit 3-6mm I usually use setting 3, for wood and plastics which allow thicker chip thickness I go setting 1 and faster feed rate.

that’s an old topics, but Makita said that if you run the tool for too long on low speed, it will overheat and break. Did you experience any of that running “most of time” in speed #1 ?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

I am speculating but:

If Makita made a statement at all, its based on the expectation that the use is the original purpose, palm routing. The cutting forces are much smaller on a CNC router and cutting forces is what matter.
Also air cooling is less at low RPM.

For most hobby CNC routers the cutting forces are light and the low RPM/cooling factor is neglible.
I have used my Makita for consecutive 3hr carves at ligth load/minimum RPM where the base temperature is only “warm”, like 50degC or less.

My 2cents :slight_smile:

that’s a good 2 cents… I’ll try it and we will see! :slight_smile:

For 4 years I’ve been running my Makita on the lowest speed with no problems and just recently changed the brushes. I love my Makita.